Flash Fiction Friday

A clang echoed over the trees. With each stroke, the shadowed limbs trembled and blackbirds fled into the growing darkness. In the distance, a thunderhead gathered over the draining light, its arms creeping across the sky.

Vincent glanced up to the cloud and stared at it for several seconds as he panted. Wiping sweat from his brow, he swung up his hammer and brought it crashing down onto the metal rod. “Almost there,” he muttered between hits.

Beside Vincent, stood the dilapidated skeleton of a once cozy cottage. At one point, the house had been furnished with clean windows and flower boxes, but now the emaciated building only shivered in the cold. A few soggy cardboard boxes were piled by the door. However, the thing to note lay in a heap at the back of the cottage. Huge as an elephant, the pile of metal and junk scraps loomed against the backdrop of the forest. From its body protruded everything from desk chairs to hairpins. Though motionless, the thing exuded a sense of horrible, impending power, like a dragon laying asleep atop his trove.

After several more beatings, Vincent lifted the bent rod and strode over to his project. Hands trembling, he stuck the rod into a hole at the base of the heap and gave a twist. The moment the rod was inserted into place, the man sprung backwards and stared up at his creation with his hands balled into fists.

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, as Vincent was about to lose his temper, the pile of junk gave a lurch. A grinding of metal on metal echoed through the forest. Another flock of blackbirds screeched and fled into the sky. As Vincent watched with his hands clasped together, the thing jerked upwards in sudden movements, the metal crunching and shifting into place. At last, it came to a full stand and raised its massive head. There stood the likeness of a massive body fashioned of junk and scrap. The eyes that bore down on Vincent were a sharp red and the rusted mouth grimaced.

Vincent cackled. “Perfect! Perfect! Now listen. Creature, you are mine! If you do as I say, your existence will not be unpleasant.” The man grinned and rubbed his hands together. “Now, there are some things we must do to get started. There is a town not far from here. A town easily broken. It is time that people start taking me seriously.”

But the creature only continued to scowl down at Vincent.

“Did you not hear me?” the man screeched. “Get going!”

The creature shifted its gears, but instead of walking away, it reached down and plucked Vincent up it its massive hand.

“What are you doing?” the man cried. “Put me down this instant!”

Laying out the human in its palm, it slammed its hands together with a mighty splat. Then, waving its arms to shake off the waste, turned and trudged off into the gathering darkness.

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